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Poor Health? We might still get you covered.

Are you considering critical illness insurance but worried about some black marks on your medical history?

The truth is, most of us don’t fit the mould of perfect health. In this article, we’ll tackle the complex world of insurance underwriting, uncovering what drives insurance coverage and its associated costs. We hope this gives you optimism and if you’re ready to explore your options, we are here to help.


Major health concerns

Insurers prioritise conditions that are life-threatening or impede your ability to perform everyday activities (ADLs). They also investigate conditions with genetic predispositions more, as these significantly impact the statistical chances of a claim. Examples encompass conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes, leukaemia, and multiple sclerosis, among others.

Minor Symptoms and Health Matters

Certain symptoms or a history of specific medical conditions might not necessarily be problematic to getting covered. These can include symptoms like blurred vision, numbness, dizziness, or common conditions such as asthma, elevated blood pressure, and even minor skin imperfections. Challenges related to sight, hearing, back pain, and similar issues typically fall into this category, rarely creating underwriting problems in isolation. 

Relevance of Time

Time can play an important factor. These timeframes encompass your parents’ medical history before reaching age 65, your entire lifetime so far, events within the last 10 years, the last 2 years, and the last 3 months. As time recedes further into the past, insurers pay more attention only to severe and long-lasting health issues when assessing risk.

Family Health History

The health history of your family carries considerable weight in the underwriting process. Questions about your parents’ health history hold more significance. Given that many serious illnesses have hereditary elements, it’s best to secure your cover not just before you receive a diagnosis, but also before your parents encounter health-related challenges. This becomes particularly invaluable when considering insurance for children, as it provides insurance later for them through an underwriting-free conversion option.

Increasingly, we witness the rise of intergenerational protection planning, which is playing a bigger part of our discussions with families.


While past medical history is important. Insurers will also consider your recent history, current treatments and medications as well. Lifestyle as this is also a large factor in contracting future illnesses or injuries. This includes evaluating factors like participation in risky activities, smoking habits, and drinking patterns. A healthy lifestyle can help in bringing balance to a chequered health history. 

Exclusion, Rating, or Full Coverage

After a thorough evaluation of your application, underwriters may choose to:

Exclude specific conditions directly linked to prior health issues. This can still be a worthwhile option for many. 

Apply a rating by providing full coverage but at a higher premium, to reflect the increased risk.

In more extreme cases insurers may do both when offering terms. 

In situations when the monthly cost has risen when this has increased a lot, it makes sense to reduce the sum assured so that monthly payments remain affordable. 

Choosing the Right Provider

Each insurance provider has a different tolerance. For clients with specific health challenges or elevated risk profiles, we go through an exercise of pre-medical underwriting.

Key Takeaways

The most important lesson is to never hesitate to ask questions. Until you seek answers, you won’t find solutions. Our structured advice process is designed to identify potential issues early and focus time accordingly to get you the best solution you can and direct inquiries toward insurers that best align with your needs. While our approach is methodical, it remains adaptable, treating every individual as a unique case.

Should you have further questions or require assistance in securing critical illness coverage, please don’t hesitate to contact us